Chocolat: Healing the Past and Making Life Sweeter

A perfect example of Taurus on film can be found in Chocolat, a light-hearted fable that makes your mouth water just watching it. Like all good films, it’s about many things: religious belief v atheism, feminism, inclusion, temptation, and what it means to live a good life. It’s a tale of freedom and longing, forgiveness and compassion, and the need for self-acceptance and healing. The story follows Vianne Rocher and her daughter Anouk, who travel from place to place, selling chocolates and bringing change to the people they encounter. 

Wonder Woman: the Descent and Return of the Goddess

In my post on Aries Myths we met the Sumerian battle goddess Inanna: a fertility goddess and force of nature with roots that extend back into prehistory. She’s not a figure you would expect to pop up in a Hollywood movie, but then along came Wonder Woman. Unlike many superhero movies, it isn’t afflicted with the snark bug. There’s no nihilistic banter or ironic asides. Wonder Woman is an enjoyable film with a positive, life-affirming message. 

Prometheus: the Alchemy of Space Aliens – Part 2

In part 1 we looked at how Prometheus can be interpreted as a gnostic creation myth and met some of the characters. In this post we’ll look at some of the other symbolism in the film, including the secret of immortality and the alchemy of creation. As always, EXPECT SPOILERS!!

Prometheus: the Alchemy of Space Aliens – Part 1

As part of my occasional series on mystical and gnostic themes in film, I thought it would be a good time to tackle Prometheus, what with Alien: Covenant in cinemas as I write this. Prometheus is part of the franchise that began in 1979 with Alien, the classic horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and is a prequel to the entire series. Some criticised the film for being too philosophical and not living up to the terrors of Alien, but Prometheus was never meant to be just another monster movie. 

Assassin’s Creed: a film confused by its Gnostic roots

The film adaptation of the Ubisoft game Assassin’s Creed had some intriguing possibilities in its mythology so I checked it out. There’s a lot of hoo-ha around the problem of video games making bad movies and many people were optimistic about this film breaking that streak. I don’t care about that – I’m not a gamer and haven’t played the game. Unfortunately, the film might have made more sense if I had. 

Fantasy Reading List: 2001 – A Space Odyssey

What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said? 2001: A Space Odyssey was written at the same time as the film was in development. Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick collaborated on the story, and the book was published after the film was released, although they differ in detail and in mood. The book has many themes, exploring the use and abuse of technology and the perils of evolution and progress. Arthur C Clarke ponders the evolution of mankind and the possibility of transhumanism, and asks questions about what it means to be conscious and the pain of self-awareness. 

I enjoyed the book, although it’s obvious that Clarke is more interested in the ideas and potentials of the technology than in the characters, which were undeveloped and not very dimensional. It felt a little bloodless, but there may be a good reason for that, as we’ll see. 

Fantasy Reading List: American Gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman is a multi-award winning fantasy novel that mashes up ancient and modern mythology and mixes it with mystery and some gruesome horror. I read the author’s preferred text, which expands on the original, and found it disturbing, funny, thought provoking, and hugely enjoyable. I’m going to dig into the book and explore some of the ideas I had while reading it, so expect spoilers! 

Like any good book, American Gods is about many things. On one level, it can be read as a story about storytelling. It’s a huge rambling novel where people and gods tell each other stories that layer up into a larger, mythical tale about the power of stories and imagination and how they shape our reality, and the dangers inherent in that process. 

How to Blurb: Writing a book description that sells

A blurb can sometimes mean a short review quoted on a book cover, but in this post we’re going to look at the other kind of blurb: the book description. The blurb is your sales pitch, printed on the back of your book or quoted on its sales page online. It’s the second most important thing, after the cover, when it comes to selling your book. 

Musings on the Muse

My muse is a shapeshifter. She’s indiscriminate: a divine whore and angelic trickster up to her knees in mulch and butterfly cocoons. She’s in sunshine and dogs and fleeting thoughts and pain. She isn’t something other than me, but I can’t control her. She is my daemon, my guide. 

She would also like me to tell you that I don’t understand her and have no idea what I’m talking about. 

What Is Enlightenment?

After busting some enlightenment myths, I thought I should look at what enlightenment actually is, with the rather obvious disclaimer: I am not enlightened, although I am working on it… 

The first thing to say is that it isn’t possible to say what enlightenment reveals. The true nature of reality is beyond concepts and language, so cannot be expressed. It can only be lived as Being.